So we’re moving house and this one will have a garage… That can mean only one thing. Bike!
I got my first bike when I was twenty one. A Kawasaki 550 Zypher. A great bike. Well, a great first bike. It was brand new and shiny and I rode it all year round commuting to work in London, and then up to Norfolk at weekends (that was where the woman was).
I clocked up about 25,000 miles in the 3 years I had the Zypher, then it was time for something with a little more protection for the winter.
I chose the Zypher as my brother had the 750 version and a mutual friend of ours had started out on a 550 Zypher and I ridden it a few times and liked the way it felt like a proper big bike. Here’s a pic of the three of us, fondly called the 3 Amigos, in Aberystwyth.
A ZZR600 it was and that was a big step up from the Zypher. Not only did it provide so much wind protection (the Zypher didn’t even have a bikini screen) it was double the horsepower – up from 50 to 100. The ZZR got me to work day in day out, whatever the weather and then was an absolute blast on the twisty roads up to Norfolk. I remember one sunny summers evening, it was about 7:00pm and I was almost home – just past Swaffham on the A1065 which is a great road, though it does encourage you to twist the throttle a little too much – this was one such evening. As I came around the sweeping left hander I saw the rozzas at the bottom of the hill and they had a speed camera. Well, all I could think was ‘bye bye license’ and biking had been fun while it lasted. I started to slow down and as I passed them they waved me back. It took me another 200 yards to slow enough to do a U-turn and I worked my way back to the two officers, head hung low.
“Thank you for coming back” was the first thing they said. “I didn’t know it was optional” was my reply. This was thankfully met with a smile. There was the usual statement of “if you saw some of the thing we saw”, which I honestly can’t imagine. Soon conversation turned back to my exuberance. The started by saying they needed to track the vehicle for 3 seconds with the radar gun to get an accurate speed reading, but… I was past them in a second and a half. Nothing more they could do, but give me some more harsh words and send me on my way. One very big bullet dodged.
Shortly after this, I moved up to Norfolk full time, got a job in Peterborough, which came with a car and the bike was put in the garage for sunny days. Things happened on weekends, as they do when you’re living with someone – long lunches and days spent outside pubs, so the bike didn’t get much use and so it was sold.
Several years went by, a baby came along and a few more years before I was out with my brother (who has a small collection of bikes) and saw a Honda CBR600F4 for sale on the side of the road. Very good condition, and a very good price. Seems too good to pass by – so I didn’t. Although was great to be back on a bike – the missus was not as happy, as we now lived in a Victorian terrace house with no garage and no way of getting the bike around the back of the house – a rental garage was needed and soon found. I had the CBR for a couple of years before finances meant it had to go. This was about 6 years ago and I’ve been bike-less ever since.
It’s now 2017 and we’re house hunting. A house with a garage no less and I need something to put in it!
Like a lot of middle-aged guys, we watched Long Way Round and dreamt of circumnavigating the globe. Ever since I’ve lusted after the GS Adventure. That’s what needs to be in my garage (the one I don’t own yet) – the garage that is. Hang on – the garage I don’t own for the bike I don’t own – we’ll you’ve got to dream!